A suitcase floats on the Niger River after a passenger boat sank late Friday, near the village of Koubi, Mali, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Survivors say as many as 160 people are still missing more than a day later. The vessel traveling from Mopti to the northern town of Timbuktu broke apart late Friday while passengers were sleeping onboard.(AP Photo/Baba Ahmed)
KOUBI, Mali (AP) — Mahmoudou Ibrahim combed the waters frantically for his family after they and hundreds of other passengers were catapulted into the Niger River when their boat capsized.
Amid the cries for help in the darkness of night, he listened in vain for the sound of their voices.
On Sunday morning, crews pulled the bloated bodies of three of his children from the river: 1-year-old Ahmadou, 3-year-old Salamata and 4-year-old Fatouma.
There is still no sign of his wife, Zeinabou, or their 5-year-old twin girls, who were last seen curled up on mats aboard the ship.
“The pain that I feel today is beyond excruciating,” he said from the village cemetery where he buried the remains of his three children Sunday in the sandy dirt.
By nightfall, a total of 43 corpses Login to read more